Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fifty-Fivers Hit Facebook - MORE Magazine - For Women 40 Plus

"I'm published in an e-magazine!"
It began with a leisurely glance through Mom’s photo albums. My husband and I were spending a few days with my parents out of...

Monday, July 26, 2010

To My Surprise...There's A Book In Me!!!

I am utterly shocked, surprised and thrilled to suddenly discover a book in me! I have ALWAYS loved to write, as my readers know. But the desire for a book was never strong. I wanted and still want to write an ongoing column or article for a magazine or newspaper or e-magazine. The only time I recall wanting to write a book is every time I watch Little Women! Ha! When Jo sees her book for the first time....OMG!

This recent season of joblessness and much inner soul searching has been tough and wonderful at the same time. With time on my hands I have pursued the whole writing thing with a bit more seriousness. Two articles have been submitted to magazines online and off. I am subscribed to places that weekly email me about writing opportunities, what magazines want from writers etc.

One day last week I was out in my backyard journaling before beginning my day. I was complaining about accomplishing nothing the few days prior. The only good thing I could find that felt rewarding was that I gave some light encouragement and counsel to a young ministry wife who is a good Blog-Friend of mine. It was fun and something that comes easy to me after 30 years in all varieties of ministry leadership. She was grateful for my words.

I was journaling the above words and then, my journal reads like this........."OK just had a tiny imagination break just now and this is what I saw: a small How To book for minister's wives written by me. It would be all about releasing them from all the "shoulds" and false expectations that are placed on them by themselves and by others. It would tell them that God is just not as hard to please as they think He is!

Hmm what would the chapters be?..............."

And my Blog Friends, the next two pages of my journal suddenly filled up with eight chapter titles and 4 to 5 subheadings under each one! As if it had been just waiting to be released!! Crazy!

The next few days I did something that shocked me even more. I told all my good friends about it! The more I talked the more excited we all got and they encouraged me so much! Here is some background: I have helped Hubs be a youth pastor, associate pastor, interim pastor, senior pastor, college age pastor and ministry school overseer. On my own I have directed a nursery ministry, been head director of Sunday School, kids church, taught Sunday school classes to most ages including college, lead women's ministry & local ministerial women's group, blah,blah, blah on it goes!

And through it all I raised a couple boys and journaled every bit of it. I have sometimes wondered if all those years of stories, the good, the bad and the ugly were ever going to be pulled out again or were they just going to grow dust in my closet.

I journeyed from being a super uptight 'church lady' to a happy woman who walks in freedom with a butterfly tattoo and a motorcycle jacket in the last 15 years. My heart hurts when I read of young or old women who are still striving so hard to please God and other people. God is totally delighted in them already! And if He is pleased with them, who cares what the others think?

Anyway, there it is. My first baby-step so that this does not become overwhelming is to create another blog that will be geared specifically to Christians and ministry wives. To most people that life looks easy, but it is not. I hope to use that site as a practice place for my chapters and as a research vehicle to learn more about what young ministry wives are dealing with today. My new blog is called...Recovering Church Lady. Great name huh? Well, I think so! You are very welcome to join me there even if you are not involved in christian ministry, just be warned; there will be a lot of God talk over there! Ha!

Thanx to all of you for your encouraging words and fun insights!

My Backyard This Morning.....

Couldn't resist showing you
my backyard a few minutes ago!

More after my workout.....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hype Always Leads to Disappointment.....

Oh man,
I'm too tired.
Left the house at 9am
and just walked back in at 10pm.

You can wait one more day

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Big Stuff

Big stuff is
brewing in me!

Have some new direction
my heart is happy
freaked out
and a little bit

Tell you more tomorrow.
What a tease!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh The Cuteness!

I honestly do not know
if my Mom eyes
are making me extremely biased.

Or if my very close
relationship with these two people
is strongly affecting
my view
and my reaction.

when I saw this on Facebook just now
my heart jumped
and did a little
twirl of joy!

Our family has a lot going on
right now.
I personally
have a lot
of inner soul searching
stuff going on right now.

But this snapshot
Writer Son & Miss M
has made all the bad stuff
go away.

Is it just me?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What Is Coming In the Mail?

As I have been babbling about for a few months, Writer Son is getting married on 10/10/10 in the hot state of Texas. I am so happy and excited about it! My new adorable daughter-in-law-to-be is a treasure whom I already love to pieces!

As the MOG ( mother of the groom ) for the first time, I started browsing through the wedding sites as soon as the news broke. Those helpful and overwhelming websites ( I can totally see why modern brides freak out! ) led me to special websites just for MOG dress shopping!

It took me a while to go along with the idea of actually buying and wearing one of these amazing and dramatic dresses. "Gowns" are really a more appropriate description though. I started to get excited about looking like a queen for a day. ( looking like a princess is a thing of the past, so I am skipping on to queen. ) I began to bookmark the ones that I thought flattered my shape. Though I have never worn anything like these silky, chiffony, lacy concoctions!

The MOG sites also instructed me that the 'mothers' of the wedding couple needed to coordinate their dresses to compliment one another regarding length and style. Color didn't matter much, just not to get too flashy or sexy. "Flashy" and "sexy" are not my problem at all! Even though I am a "recovering church lady", I seldom wear dresses of any kind. I love my jeans and cargo pants. But I was looking forward to having an excuse to glam it up for once in my life! ( other than my own wedding! )

So, with all this dress description you may be wondering why I have a picture of an extremely low-key and casual summer dress on this post? Well, it turns out that the wedding will be a very casual, outdoor celebration! I was actually relieved to hear this after all. So I began to bookmark casual black and white summer dresses because the wedding colors were black with purple accents.

The wedding party colors have changed to brown with purple and yellow accents. ( Told you it was casual! Ha! ) Miss M, the Bride, wants the moms to wear one of the accent colors. ( Did you know they now tell the moms exactly what color to wear? ) Well, I am NOT going to wear a long yellow dress, it does not do nice things to my skin. So I have been shopping for a long summery purple dress.

I saw the dress pictured above, online at a chain store. Today I went to the local store to try it on and buy it before all the summery items get replaced by sweaters and jackets. They did not have my size in the dark purple. It fit well in another color though and I really loved it. I came home and ordered it online and it will arrive in a week or so. But there is one tiny problem.........

Just after I clicked on SUBMIT ORDER, my eyes saw the words COLOR: RANDOM. What?!! I was sure I was ordering the color in the picture on the description page. What in the world is "random"? What will be arriving in the mail? I don't know........but at least I know what store to return it to if it is pink, yellow and green all over!

Should be interesting.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

After a Really Hot Day.....

Like my new helmet decal?

Do you see the shoe?
I didn't see it till I was editing the pic!

Kind of water colorish!

Ghost Tree?

We took an evening ride tonight
to shake off the
A/C stir craziness of a hot day!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Exercise Shmexercise!!!

I have been faithfully working out 30 to 45 minutes six mornings a week for the last 3 weeks and I am seeing very little improvement! Other than sore muscles!

Writer Son is getting married in October in a casual outdoor wedding in Texas. The colors are black and purple and I am looking at dresses like this one. The normal online Mother of the Groom dresses are all wrong for this casual setting and my non-dress wearing life. I love this long summery polk-a-dot dress a lot! If I wear a long dress I won't have to worry about high heels in the grass. butt is large and my arms are flabby!!
I need to up my workouts and I hate it while I'm doing it, but love how I feel after.

I don't really like the bottom of that dress though, wish it did not have the lower tiered affect. Just one layer all the way down would dress it up a bit more. Well I'm still just doing virtual shopping online to get ideas. I would wear a shear shawl with it.

Question......the wedding websites say that the MOB and MOG (mother of groom) only need to be careful not to clash with each other or the wedding colors. But our Bride and some others are saying that they want the Moms to almost match the bridesmaids dresses! Is that a new thing? Does the bride choose the Moms colors?

I'm such a newbie at this, didn't even really plan my own wedding as far as I can recall.
It was 32 years ago and my mom did most of it. Otherwise why would my wedding photos show my handsome hubby in a pink shirt with a maroon tux?? See, we really cannot trust my taste here can we?

***Added next day*** Colors of wedding have changed to chocolate brown with purple & yellow accents. Miss M would like the Moms in the accent colors. Ok, but no yellow for me, I will be looking for a long summer casual dress in purple I guess! ***

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Too Old?

***Friday Follow!***

I am getting tired of hearing myself ask myself the same questions lately……

Am I too old to be on Facebook? Did it anyway.

Am I too old to wear jeans & flip flops to work? Doing it anyway.

Am I too old to grow my hair out?

Am I too old become a motorcycle chick? Ha ha!

Am I too old to dream?

Am I too old to get beautiful on the outside?

Am I too old to have true friends who are still back on the other side of 30?

Am I too old to dance?

Am I too old to totally change my style?

Am I too old to not know what I want to be when I grow up?

Am I too old to care if jeans should be narrow or wide?

Am I too old to be mad at God sometimes?

Am I too old to lay in the sun? Doin’ it anyway.

Am I too old to have so many questions still?

Am I too old to wonder what I am doing here?

Am I too old to look for a new career?

Am I too old to wear tank tops? Doing it anyway.

Am I too old to go sleeveless?

Am I too old for a tattoo? He he! Did it anyway!

Am I too old to be so silly? Being it anyway!

Now I know why older women wear stuff that looks bad…they get tired of answering these questions & just do it anyway! YAY FOR FREEDOM!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook.....

The Simple Woman's Daybook is a lovely and refreshing site that encourages us to look at the beauty around us within each day. Even the ordinary, uneventful days. It's also fun to have a little peek into other women's lives, after all, isn't that why so many of us read blogs? To find more blog friends and see what their daily lives are like, go link up and share your own simple days.......


Outside my window...The sun is shining, it's California, it does not know what else to do! My cul-de-sac is unusually quiet and I am glad. Maybe all the little kiddies are at summer-school or camp, either way, it's very nice.

I am thinking...that I need an inspiration for my next paid article. Isn't this a good way to find ideas?

I am thankful sons. Writer Son is deep in love, preparing for an October wedding. Rocker Son appears to have survived a drunken weekend in Vegas.

From the learning rooms...I am learning that not knowing the future is OK. Knowing would not affect what I do today very much anyway.

From the kitchen...tonight I am preparing a summer meal of corn on the cob and mashed potatoes. Empty Nest is a wonderful thing!

I am wearing...a new little (size large!) red sundress that I picked up this morning at Super Walmart for $7 !

I am creating...a black licorice tongue with the box of 'Good n' Plenty's' O also bought this morning!

I am going...nowhere for the rest of today. Tomorrow I will attend a staff meeting even though I'm no longer "staff".

I am reading...a fun library book called "Joy School" by Elizabeth Berg. I love it!

I am hoping...and praying that our new ministry school attracts enough students to pay me a salary in September!

I am oscillating fan behind me and some birdsong outside my window.

Around the house...I have potted some new plants this morning and placed them on low pillars on either side of our front door and I'm very pleased with myself because it looks very warm and welcoming!

One of my favorite things...would actually be two things...reading and writing.

A few plans for the rest of the week:Not much is planned. We have tickets to see an art exhibit called "Birth of Impressionism" at the San Francisco De Young Museum. We are going to invite a couple that we love to join us for a fun evening in the city.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing.

Candace at Mi Chiamo Candace gave me
this cheerful
Go check her out, she's really fun!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Think It's Humid in U.S.?

I have had the shocking privilege to go to the Fiji Islands four times! I had never considered myself a huge world traveler at all. There were enough things to be afraid of here in the United States, why would I take a crazy risk like that? But, given the opportunity to accompany our college age students as part of a team of leaders, I did it. We were going to the distant islands of Fiji to pray for people and bring them what we could. Did I mention that my ten day trip was completely paid? Very big incentive to grab what I thought would be a 'once in a lifetime' chance.

The first photo is our group hiking (I'm in green skirt) to a primitive and isolated Fiji village that did not see a lot of white people. That would explain why we are wearing long skirts and even our arms are covered. The church on the big island that invited us over was very old school and did not want our girls in jeans or pants. The best part..... the boys had to wear zulus, which are basically a skirt! Our guys looked funny in them, but the Fijian men looked downright fierce in a zulu! (sulu/zulu? can't recall.)

On the Leadership Team were people who were strong in certain areas. One was a great musical worshiper, another was gifted at healing and another friend had no qualms about praying with the demon possessed. I wondered why I was there and decided it was to be a "mom" and an encourager for the students that I knew so well.
Well, the very first night the Director of our team asked me, ME, to speak to the students before we headed out to our assignments! What? You guys have the stuff, why are you asking me to share? I will not forget what he said,
"They are all really scared and jumpy in this unknown place. You have conquered fear in so many ways, I am sure you can help them overcome the fear they are facing tonight."

So, the third photo is me in front of our group. The reason I am looking down is that I was reading to them straight out of my journal. The pages I had written while on the 15 hour flight on my way onto this brand new scary place. I was able to lift their spirits by showing them how I dealt with the same feelings. There was laughter, tears and a whole crowd of happy excited people by the time I was done!!

And in case you ever thought that exotic traveling was glamorous in any way, take a look at the close up someone took of me! Ugh! The intense heat and humidity was actually one of the toughest things I fought while there. No make-up could survive, no hairspray could stand up to the wet air. Walking out of our rooms was exactly like walking into a gym shower area. The Fijians carry white dishtowels strapped into their waste bands to constantly wipe their faces. (Not really very white after a bit!)

I joked with the leaders later that we all have our specialties; healing, prayer, worship, deliverance....and mine? Fear. Nice!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Now And Then

At least his tongue is not out in the Fourth of July pic this year. Rocker Son is my funny, independent, thrill seeker who is determined to ( mess up his body ) be himself no matter what it cost. I admire that in him so much, because I was not that strong at his age.

Today he is off to Vegas with friends and a single goal, to party hard and make memories that can only be remembered by looking at the pictures later. I told him to please be careful and that I don't want to get a bad news call about him. His answer, which I've heard many times is that his talk about getting crazy is all just talk, hype.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reading and Writing

Feeling sickly the last few days.

Just one thought,

Reading about writing

is not writing.

Yep, I love to read about writing!

I start finding possible markets,

that leads me to 'How To' articles,

they take me to other websites about


the evening is gone!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Fiji Days

Yes, Fiji is super hot and humid,
almost unbearably.
I have been there four times,
co-leading short term missions trips.
But it looks and sounds really wonderful
today as I came across this photo.

The boat up above was our Taxi between several small islands we visited
on our twelve-day trips.
I have lots of great stories of my
times on the Fiji Islands.

I will cogitate on them for a bit
and get back to you!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Always Worshiping....

Recently my good friend, Stephanie sent me the following note, (Caps are mine.)

“I've been thinking of you this morning, and I feel like there's something in 2Chronicles 20 for you-

Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah were faced with an army come to take them out. The people turned to the Lord and testified of His power, greatness and willingness to move on their behalf. With their hearts turned to Him, they said,


Then the Lord said-

"Do not be afraid or discouraged of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s…take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you…Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.”

The people POSITIONED THEMSELVES IN WORSHIP. They sang, “Give Thanks to the Lord for His love endures forever!” And as they sang and praised, the Lord set ambushes against the army that had rose against them. The enemies turned on each other and WIPED THEMSELVES OUT!

When it was all over, it took 3 entire days for Jehoshaphat and his men to carry off all the plunder from their defeated enemies!”

Stephanie followed that scripture description with some beautiful words of encouragement meant just for me. (Thank you Stephanie!)

When I turned to that passage in my Bible, it was almost completely underlined! Worship has been very important to me for many years. At one point I even fell into the sneaky trap of worshiping worship.

Today this has me pondering the wonderful wisdom of these men. The second half of their prayer….BUT OUR EYES ARE ON YOU….reveals some deep wisdom. I don’t know if they said it with an expression of exasperation or with quiet faith. Either way, it shows us what the perfect DEFAULT is for any situation! Wonder how long the battle would have gone on if they HAD KNOWN what to do!?

Worship is a state of mind. The POSITION of worship is simply PUTTING OUR EYES ON HIM! It is a state of heart. Which comes first does not matter. The worship of God’s people is a mysterious and multi-layered thing. As I read this story I was overwhelmed with the intricate and detailed threads that weave through us as we worship!

There is POWER in worship.

There is SAFETY in worship.

Worship reveals TRUTH.

Worship brings us WISDOM.

Worship can be DESPERATE.

We can find REST in worship.

We can acquire COURAGE in worship.

Worship releases CREATIVITY.

Worship is BATTLE.

We must BATTLE to worship.

Worship is REFRESHING.

Worship is CLEANSING.

There is more! Each of those statements is full of keys and revelation that lead us back to LOOKING AT HIS EYES.

Worship really is the ONLY sensible thing to do when we do not know what to do! It has become my DEFAULT. Unanswered questions and nagging doubts still hit me, but they do not overwhelm me anymore. He does not mind if I say, “God, I do not get this, but I am looking at you!” My default is to look at Him. For several years I have signed my letters, “Always Worshiping”. It has not been written lightly, it is where I live.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Fourth!

I hope you all have a happy and safe
4th of July!

After gathering with our friends to love on God,
we will meet up again at a great park
and share food, stories, games
and most likely a lot of laughter.

Hubs and I will ride our bike to the park.
Pretty sure my "homemade" store bought macaroni salad
will fit in the side bags.

So much has changed around us
that it is sure to be an interesting day
full of both sweet and awkward conversation.

Tonight we are waiting for a prospective buyer to come
look at one of Hub's bikes.
Yes, bittersweet would be the correct
description today.

God, I will be looking for You
in the face of each one I spend time with tomorrow!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Stay-cation .....

We are stay-cationing this summer. We had our little 3 day trip to Carmel, but we will be staying home for the rest of the summer for many reasons.

Hubs and I shared a job for the last ten years as ministry school directors and teachers. Our school has been recently closed, but we have been offered jobs in the new school being created.....if there are enough students whose tuition's will give us a steady salary again........ We will know this in late August. (Can you hear me inwardly screaming with fear and doubt? It comes and goes!)

Writer Son is getting married this coming October. The wedding is out of state so we will be paying for Rocker Son and us to fly to the wedding. And of course the Groom's family is responsible for the Rehearsal Dinner, so there is that expense plus our new clothes for this happy occasion....oh and gifts for them I'm sure. :0 (And yes, I am grateful to be the mother of sons only!)

Hubs is selling one of our bikes, and my meager writing income of $200 so far, is going directly into a special "Wedding Account". Thankfully we are still being paid by the former job until mid-August! :)

There are two very clear ways to look at this whole situation.




I am moving back and forth between the two.........but more and more my DEFAULT is becoming rest. Since we are still being paid through the summer for our old job, but not going into the office daily, we are pretty much being paid not to work!

While on the look-out for a replacement job if the school does not gain enough students, I am at home. I am sleeping till 8 or 9. Then I take my coffee out to the backyard and sip while enjoying our nice yard and birdies singing. That's my stay-cation photo up above.

Next I head to the spare room for a short work-out then go online and see what's happening in the world or write. This can be a dangerous area where I sometimes end up noticing that it's almost Noon and I'm still in my jammies or work-out clothes!

I ask you....does that not sound a lot like a vacation?? I know!

Thankful for all I have today. I am blessed!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wishing I Hadn't Read That!


"I just got paid 100 dollars to jump in a pool butt naked. Unfortunately the wind picked up and threw my boxers in the pool."

Oh Lord! Wise mothers do NOT Friend their adult (?) sons on Facebook.